"Cycle of Life"
is quite evident here in Maine. The changing Seasons in the Northeast throughout the year, vividly showcases the varied beauty of God's creation.
As we're looking ahead to the coming Fall, children are returning to school and Faith Formation classes. How can we better prepare them to interweave and develop the necessary life-long skills they'll need, together with their God-given talents? How can nature facilitate this endeavor?
- In the Autumn, days will be cooler; there'll be less sunlight and so the chlorophyll will stop being produced, the leaves will change color, ultimately dry up and die, leaving behind rich soil for next year's vegetation.
- Next, the Winter will quietly arrive bringing with it seasonal weather that will blanket the dormant trees with glistening snow.
- Then, the Spring with its seeds germinating in the rich soil of last year's decay, its budding, sprouting and developing growth will give way to new life (i.e. bees buzzing from flower to flower, animals caring for their new offspring, and scattered color appearing everywhere).
- And Finally, the Summer will reappear with its warmth, greenery and sun showers to complete another year's cycle of life.
What can we learn from this process? How does observing other life cycles
show us that we can
in God's Divine Providence?
"Look at the birds of the air . . . God feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" -Matt. 46:10
Unlike inanimate objects
i.e. rocks, clouds, stars)
living plants (
i.e. trees, flowers,
), or animals with their instincts or ability to be trained (
i.e insects, birds, pets . . .
are the only "
and they alone have the ability to
". So, do they also have the responsibility to be good stewards of this earth, to preserve it, to prepare those that follow to also care for it, so still future generations could also benefit from and enjoy it? If so, how would they begin?
Well, we may want to start off by observing
in our present environment. Perhaps, by taking a moment from our hectic schedules to
"be in the moment",
observe what's right in front of us, be present to God and open to His message
. . .
"Be still and know that I am God." -Psalm 46:10
We could then, also nurture sensory experiences in a youngster (i.e. smelling a flower, touching the rough tree bark, listening to and observing the chirping birds, tasting the refreshing rain/ snow) guiding them to use their senses in conjunction with their background knowledge to form new awareness' that would enhance their on-going learning and development. Who knows, what else, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, could be "sparked" in them/us . . . and what it could lead to
. . .
God upholds and sustains creation."
So, be present in the moment whenever possible, experience and share new learning opportunities that may arise, and cherish the gift of God's Beauty in our environment
. . .